369 - Funds for Spain
TRADES UNION CONGRESS. 353
carefully safeguarded by a set of stringent provisions regarding the payment of prevailing wages, maintenance of maximum hours of work, prohibition of the so-called kick-back practices and requirement of workmen's compensation payment.
Appreciating the need of close and constant contact with every phase of the administration of the United States Housing Act by representatives of organised labour throughout the country, the Executive Council authorised the Housing Committee of the American Federation of Labor to continue to present the housing policy of the Federation in order to secure for members of affiliated unions and their families the full measure of benefit and protection from the operation of the programme. To this end the Denver Convention of the American Federation of Labor, which met in October 1937, authorised the creation for this purpose of additional local labour housing committees to extend this kind of labour representation to every sizable community in the United States. The Convention also approved the programme of liberalising the United States Housing Act by making more funds available to the United States Housing Authority and to improve the law in other technical respects. A Bill embodying the purpose of the Convention resolution was introduced in Congress in April. The amendment to the original Act made 800,000,000 dollars (160,000,000 pounds sterling) available immediately to the United States Housing Authority and temporarily removed the requirement of 10 per cent. local participation in the capital loans to local housing authorities to expedite the programme. American labour is confident that the expansion of this programme of public housing will go a long way toward restoring the incomes of our pauperised families by providing employment income and purchasing power to a great mass of building trades mechanics and labourers as well as to workers engaged in the production of building materials. Because the programme, in addition to its effective re-employment features, assured better housing and therefore better living standards to a large number of wage earners, it is regarded as of outstanding importance to American labour.
American labour is planning organisation and greatly increased activity in collective bargaining and the administration of labour laws. During the past five years, such important labour legislation as the National Labor Relations Act, the Social Security Act, the Public Contracts Act, Wage and Hour Legislation, and Housing have given new opportunities and new responsibilities to the organised labour movement. While handicapped by the division within the ranks of labour, we find that constructive unionism, responsible leadership and devotion in our ranks have won respect and confidence from all with whom we have dealings. We are confident of continued progress.
The American Trade Union Movement will be anxiously watching your activities, and wishes you success and God-speed in your efforts to improve the conditions of the workers of your country.
The President : It is now my equally pleasing duty to ask the colleague of Mr. Morrin to address Congress.
Mr. D. J. Tobin, American Federation of Labor
Mr. D. J. Tobin (International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Stablemen and Helpers of America) : I join with my associate delegate, Bro. Morrin, who has just preceded me, as one of the ambassadors of Labour